"My hopes of seeing my son go to a good school are waning gradually," said Shruti Mehta (name changed), who checks updates on websites of schools more than her office mails these days.
"First, the 25% reservation of seats for the EWS category, then further reservations for management, alumni and sibling category. Where do parents like us stand a chance?" asked Mehta. Her three-year-old son has so far not made it to the first list of any of the top schools in the city.
With the Directorate of Education (DoE) giving schools a free hand to decide the various categories this year and allowing them to retain 20% seats for management quota, parents like Mehta are at the receiving end.
Schools have reserved seats under various categories such as sibling, alumni, special needs, linguistic minority, girl child, management quota and staff children shrinking the number of seats available for parents who do not fit into any
Schools such as Delhi Public School — most of its branches such as Rohini, Vasant Kunj, RK Puram, Dwarka, Mathura Road, both branches of Mount Carmel — Anand Niketan and Dwarka, GD Goenka, Dwarka, and Indian School, Sadiq Nagar, among others have already declared their first list.
Most school will declare their first list by February 1, as per the common admission schedule.
"In spite of applying to over 20 schools, parents are skeptical about their child's chances of making it in the first list. Categories like alumni and sibling are being allocated more points this year as compared to last year since the points being allocated to parents' profession and qualification has been shifted to these categories,” said Rajan Arora, founder of schooladmissions.in, a nursery admission related website with over 30,000 parents as it members.
“So parents who are not from Delhi and have a first born are only getting points for neigbourhood, which is at the most 25 and not enough to make it to the list," he added.
Alumni category unfair
Ever since the admission criteria by schools were released, other parents like Mehta have been crying foul over the alumni category.
The nursery admission guidelines, which had been framed under the Right to Education Act, had scrapped the parents' qualification or profession category this year, terming it discriminatory and amounting to screening.
"Isn't it discriminatory to consider where the parents studied? We are equally educated like those who studied in Delhi. Why should my sons suffer just because I did not study in a Delhi school?" asked Bindu Misra, mother of three-year-old twin boys, who hails from Pune.
Mehta argued that the parents' qualification would have helped her secure admission seat for her son easily.
"I have a masters degree from Delhi University and my husband is also a graduate from the same university. Both my husband and I are well-placed professionally. Admission for our son would have been easier if that category was there," said Mehta.
Lottery over point system?
Rajat Mittal was among the majority of parents in the Capital who were totally against the draw of lots that was earlier proposed for nursery admission. But after the first lists of some schools came out, his opinion had changed.
"May be lottery was a better idea afterall, at least that way we could have then blamed it on our luck," said Mittal.
Though its still early days, Mittal has his plans chalked out.
"If I do not make it to a good school for my son this year, I will try next year in schools in Gurgaon or Noida," he said.